Government Finance Statistics, Annual

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Statistics about finances of the general government and public corporation sectors for the various levels of government in Australia

Reference period
2021-22 financial year

Key statistics

In the year 2021-22:

  • General government net operating balance rose $110.9b from -$145.5b in 2020-21 to -$34.6b
  • General government borrowing was $87.3b
  • Total public sector borrowing was $96.6b
  • All Australia general government net debt (L2) reached 33.8% as a percentage of GDP.

Unless indicated, all figures presented in this publication are current prices, original series.

Content published as web tables in previous Government Finance Statistics, Annual releases are available in the Key tables section of Data downloads below. Data downloads previously included in the Government Finance Statistics, Education publication (ceased 2020-21) are now included in this publication.

For the latest information on Government Finance Statistics, please visit the Government Finance Statistics quarterly publication.

Included in this publication is an Insights into Government Finance Statistics, Annual, 2021-22 which examines the key stories and economic narratives of the 2021-22 annual Government Finance Statistics data.

Fiscal measures

Government finance statistics fiscal measures, original

2020-21 to

$m$m$m$m% change
Taxation revenue
 General government560,057551,751593,105683,02515.2%
Total revenue
 General government694,040681,603727,993831,35214.2%
 Public non-financial corporations86,01790,01697,630103,5556.1%
 Non-financial public sector (a) (c)753,033746,092797,237907,60113.8%
 Total public sector (b) (c)765,039757,239810,694926,55414.3%
Total expenses
 General government677,451789,739873,510865,903-0.9%
 Public non-financial corporations94,40499,223105,129104,713-0.4%
 Non-financial public sector744,713863,430950,220943,309-0.7%
 Total public sector762,160880,735968,333960,464-0.8%
GFS Net Operating Balance
 General government16,589-108,136-145,517-34,551np
 Public non-financial corporations-8,387-9,207-7,499-1,158np
 Non-financial public sector8,320-117,338-152,983-35,708np
 Total public sector2,879-123,496-157,640-33,910np
GFS Net Lending (+)/Borrowing (-)
 General government-24,134-151,691-193,011-87,292np
 Public non-financial corporations-19,219-18,396-14,162-10,969np
 Non-financial public sector-43,042-170,119-207,346-98,322np
 Total public sector-48,248-176,314-212,035-96,624np

np indicates this value not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated

  1. The non-financial public sector comprises general government and public non-financial corporations.
  2. The total public sector comprises general government, public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations.
  3. The sum of individual levels of government or sectors may not agree with the non-financial public sector and total public sector figures due to transfers between level of government.

Net operating balance

All levels of general government net operating balance was -$34.6b in 2021-22.

Net Worth

Net worth for all levels of general government rose $335.2b to $1014.4b in 2021-22 as liabilities decreased and assets increased. Commonwealth government drove the rise due to a fall in provisions for defined benefit superannuation, a fall in debt securities, an increase in cash and deposits, and offset by a fall in equity and contributed capital. 

Net debt

All Australia general government net debt (L2) reached $779.4b or 33.8% of GDP in 2021-22. 

  1. L2 debt is comparable to government reporting of net debt under Australian accounting standards
  2. Using the GDP annual, current prices series as published in Table 36 in the December quarter 2022 issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product.

Revisions and changes


Statistical revisions are carried out regularly in Government Finance Statistics (GFS) to reflect the most current information and data available.

Victorian Capital Asset Charge historical revision

The ABS has reclassified payments and receipts related to the Victorian Capital Asset Charge (CAC) across impacted sectors in the 2021-22 annual GFS publication.

The ABS recognise:

  • CAC as an other tax on production revenue, with an equal and offsetting non-payable tax credit.

  • Total CAC tax revenue will therefore have a value of zero and not be visible in Government Finance Statistics and Macroeconomic accounts.

Under the previous classification, CAC was classified as an equal and offsetting Sales of goods and services revenue received from the PNFC sector and a Subsidy on products expense paid to the PNFC sector.

The Victorian Department of Treasury & Finance and VicTrack have removed CAC transactions in all budgetary and fiscal reporting from 1 July 2021.

The National Accounts will implement this change in the upcoming 2022-23 release.

AUSTRAC Industry Contribution Levy historical revision

The ABS has reclassified revenue related to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) Industry Contribution Levy (ICL) in the 2021-22 annual GFS publication.

AUSTRAC undertakes intelligence activities to monitor financial transactions in Australia for government purposes and imposes an ICL on large reporting entities (banks, insurance companies, stockbrokers, and casinos).

The ABS recognise:

  • From 2012-13 to 2013-14, the ICL is classified as sales of goods and services (administrative fees) revenue to Commonwealth General Government from private financial corporations. During this period the ICL was designed to recover the cost of AUSTRAC's regulatory functions.
  • From 2014-15 onwards, the ICL is classified as taxes on income. During this period the ICL is charged based on earnings of large reporting entities, is compulsory, and payers of the ICL do not receive regulatory services or a licence in return for paying the ICL.

Under the previous classification, the ICL was classified as other revenue for all time periods.

The National Accounts will implement this change in the upcoming 2022-23 release.

Non-government schools education historical revision

The ABS reclassified payments to non-government schools in the 2020-21 annual GFS publication. This resulted in a reclassification to benefits to households in goods and services in the GFS timeseries back to 1998-99.

Revisions to the prior two years for the 2021-22 GFS release reflect the most current information and data available on funding to non-governments schools from the Commonwealth Department of Education.

The ABS recognise:

  • Non-government schools as market producers (market, non-profit institutions).
  • Government payments to non-government schools as the purchase of a service on behalf of households.

Under the previous classification:

  • Non-government schools were classified as non-market Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households (NPISH).
  • Government payments to non-government schools were classified as a transfer to households.

Commonwealth and state government financial reporting will continue to separately recognise their funding contributions to non-government schools.

The National Accounts implemented this change to their 2021-22 release. The Quarterly series for GFS and National Accounts was implemented from September quarter 2022.

Divergences with government fiscal reporting

Divergences between state and commonwealth government financial reporting and GFS may occur because of conceptual determinations and timing recognition differences, to ensure alignment with economic activity as measured across ABS macroeconomic statistics.

These differences primarily impact:

  • measures of government subsidies and other support payments to businesses and households
  • non-employee expenses
  • change in inventories.

Following the introduction of several Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) standard changes from 1 July 2019, divergences between economic statistics publications and government financial reporting due to accounting standard changes relate to:

  • Leases (AASB 16)
  • Revenue recognition (AASB 15 & 1058)
  • Service Concession Arrangements (AASB 1059).

GFS outputs are consistent with the historical treatments, which has resulted in increased divergences between economic statistics publications and government financial reporting.

Previous catalogue number

 This release previously used catalogue number 5512.0.

Data downloads

Government Finance Statistics, Annual, 2021-22

Data files

Related releases

Taxation Revenue, Australia

Statistics about taxation revenue collected by the various levels of government in Australia.

The 2021-22 issue of Taxation Revenue, Australia was published on 26 April 2023.

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